Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Best Chocolate Cookies in the Universe

Note: sandwiching with mint chocolate chip ice cream only makes the best even better.

Best in the Universe? --prove me wrong, I DARE YOU.

They're fudgey, chewy, soft, gooey, crinkley, sweet, and delicious.  (And grain-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, of course.)

Recipe can easily be doubled for twice the aweseomeness.

Adapted from the 2013 Washington Post Christmas cookie section.


- toast 2 3/4 c chopped walnuts:  spread them on a baking sheet and place in a 350 degree oven, shaking sheet occassionally, for 8-10 minutes.  Watch carefully to make sure you don't burn them.

- separate 4 large eggs, saving the whites **

- powder 3 cups coconut sugar:  I used a magic bullet blender for this, powdering small amounts at a time.  A Vitamix could probably handle all of it at once and save considerable time.  I put ~1/2 c at a time in the bullet with a pinch of tapioca or potato starch each time, and blended until powdered. Adding starch helps create the 'powdered' consistency.

- locate parchment paper or silicone baking mats to line cookie sheets before dropping cookies.

- heat oven to 350 degrees

[** save those yolks and make some Gluten Free Pasta!! It's no coincidence that a double cookie recipe takes 8 whites, and a double spinach-pasta recipe takes 8 yolks..... :) ]


1/2 c plus 3 tbs cocoa powwder
3 c powdered sugar
pinch of salt
2 3/4 c walnuts, toasted
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 tbs vanilla

Combine the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, salt, and walnuts - beat on low for 1 minutes.

With the mixer running, slowly add the egg whites and vanilla.  Beat on medium for 3 minutes, until the mixture has thickened slightly and looks lumpy. Do not over-mix, or the eggwhites will over-thicken.

Use a 2-ounce cookie/ice cream scoop (or let's be honest... a normal spoon) to scoop that batter onto the LINED cookie sheets.  Space cookies about 3 inches apart.

After placing cookies in the oven, immediately reduce temperature to 320.  Bake 15-20 minutes, rotating pans font to back and top to bottom halfway through. (note... this entire step is optional, but is included in the original recipe, and would probably would help for optimal results.)

Pull parchment paper with cookies onto a cooling rack and cool completely before moving cookies.

Eat and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Gluten Free Pasta Verde, Homemade

Red & Green - this was my Christmas dinner.

 This is an adaption of the previous recipe that I posted on homemade GF pasta. It basically subs pureed spinach for some of the egg, and ends up being bright green! The taste doesn't change very much, so it's still good with a variety of sauces. I've preferred to keep it simple, and top it with a few grape tomatoes sauteed in olive oil, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper.

While we're on the subject of olive oil, I highly recommend Trader Joe's Spanish Olive Oil. It is fragrant and rich, not at all bitter, and everything that an EVOO should be! Get it.

I used my Cuisinart pasta maker for this again. I've tried it with the fettuccine dye, as well as the angel hair one. Worked great with both!

When I've made this, I've done a double recipe, and bagged the leftovers to feed myself for the next 10 dinners or so.  Below is the doubled version, because it's easiest to sub the spinach for one whole egg. To make less, I would sub the weight of one egg yolk for equal weight of spinach puree.

Angel hair extruding.
THE RECIPE: (feeds ~8) - (or more, if you're me)

6 oz garbanzo bean flour
6 oz millet flour
6 oz potato starch OR tapioca starch/flour
2 tsp psyllium powder
2 pinch nutmeg
2 tsp salt                           -----> combine dry ingredients (mix them in bowl of pasta maker)

1 L egg
8 L egg yolks*
5 oz fresh spinach leaves    -----> blend eggs and spinach until spinach is pureed. Slowly add to dry mixture and blend.

1 tbs oil (maybe)
1 tbs water (maybe)          -----> after your egg/spinach mixture is fully incorporated into the dry ingredients, evaluate the consistency of your dough.  It should be naturally clumping into walnut-sized chunks. (Although the moisture of the spinach may make it ball a bit more than usual- that is okay.)  If the dough resembles cornmeal, it is too dry.  If this is the case, add up to 1 tbs oil, and re-evaluate. This should be all you need- however, if you find it is still too dry, add up to 1 tbs water.  Get those walnut-ish chunks, one way or another.

Then, follow the instructions on your pasta maker to extrude the noodles. You should also be able to do this by hand-- google elsewhere for detailed instructions on how to do that.

Cook in a very large pot of boiling water for just a few minutes.  Fresh pasta cooks VERY quickly-- and overcooking it will make the noodle structure and shape fall apart. (aka, still tastes good, but looks crummy.)  It always finishes more quickly than I expect!

Top with some olive oil, salt/pepper, or your favorite sauce. Enjoy!

Fettucine in the stew pot!

Fettuccine, just about to be cooked.

* STAY TUNED for the dessert that is the PERFECT PAIR to make with or soon after this pasta...... because it uses 8 egg whites! So, it's pretty much a requirement that you make them one after another.  Just don't explode from deliciousness overdoes when you do.